The Lion Head is a distinctive and easily recognisable National Symbol of Singapore. Less formal than the other symbols such as the National Flag and the State Crest, the Lion Head symbol can be freely used by individuals, organisations and corporations to promote a sense of national identity.
This National Symbol was introduced in 1986 as the Government wanted an alternative symbol that people and organisations could use to express their loyalty and commitment to the nation. As the National Flag and the State Crest are governed by legal restrictions which restrict their use for commercial or non-governmental purposes, the then Ministry of Communications and Information embarked on a search for a symbol that people could readily identify with.
The Ministry invited local art schools and advertising agencies to produce a new symbol that best exemplifies the characteristics of the nation. Many designs were submitted using motifs such as HDB flats, palm trees and various lions. The winning entry was a lion head by a young designer named Mr Michael Lee, who offered his design as a gift to the nation.
The lion was chosen as it is a powerful and historic symbol of Singapore's status as the Lion City and symbolises three national values: courage, excellence and strength. Singapore's name is itself derived from 'Singa Pura' (which means "Lion City"). According to the Malay Annals, Sang Nila Utama, a prince from Palembang, gave this name to the island after he came ashore and saw a creature he believed to be a lion.
The Lion Head symbolises courage, strength and excellence. It is in solid red against a white background - the colours of the National Flag. The mane has five partings that represent the same five ideals embodied in the five stars of the National Flag, namely democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. The lion's tenacious mien symbolises the nation's single-minded resolve to face and overcome any challenges.
Guidelines on the Use of the Lion Head Symbol
- Any individual, organisation or company can use the Lion Head symbol for purposes of identifying with the nation.
- While Singapore companies may use the Lion Head symbol as a means of identifying themselves with Singapore, it should not be assumed or taken to indicate any kind of official endorsement of the companies' products or services.
- The Lion Head symbol should be used in good taste and treated with dignity and respect. Its design should not be modified in any way or have any words or graphics superimposed over it. However, it may be depicted in outline form, be embossed or portrayed as a watermark.
- The official colours of the Lion Head symbol are Pantone 032 (red), white or black.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Using the Lion Head symbol
- Who may use the Lion Head symbol?
The Lion Head Symbol may be used by Singapore-based individuals, organisations or companies to express loyalty and pride towards Singapore.
- May I use a design or trademark logo incorporating the Lion Head symbol?
Any Singapore-based individual, organistion or company may use a design or trademark or logo incorporating the Lion Head Symbol, provided that the use is of good taste, and does not compromise on the integrity of the meaning and design of the Symbol.
While companies may use the Symbol as a means of identifying themselves with Singapore, it should not be used in a way that is likely to create an impression that the State or the Government is endorsing any products or service.
The Lion Head symbol is also not for exclusive use and may not be registered as or as part of any trademark.
It will be the responsibility of the user to ensure that the use of the Lion Head symbol is in adherence with the above guidelines, failing which permission to use the Lion Head symbol shall be withdrawn.
- Are there any fees payable for use of Lion Head Symbol?
There are no licence fees or charges involved.
- I noticed that the Lion Head symbol's design has the word "Singapore" underneath it, but I have seen the symbol being used elsewhere without the words. Can I use the symbol without the word "Singapore"?
The Lion Head symbol may be used without the word "Singapore" underneath it, although it is recommended to do so.
- I noticed that some times, the Lion Head symbol faces left and sometimes, it faces right. Which is the correct direction that the Lion Head should face?
There is no official direction that the Lion Head should face. However, it is most commonly seen facing left.
- What are the official colours of the Lion Head symbol?
The official colours of the Lion Head symbol are red (Pantone 032), white and black.
The Lion Head symbol may also be used in outline form, embossed form and as a watermark.
- Can I modify the Lion Head symbol (e.g. artistically render it) before using it?
No. The Lion Head symbol should be used as it is and in its entirety, and should not be modified in any way, including having any words or images superimposed on the Lion Head symbol.
- Where can I download a copy of the Lion Head symbol?
A high-resolution image of the symbol is available for download here on our website.
- Is the Lion Head symbol the same as the Merlion Symbol?
No, it is not. The Lion Head symbol is often mistakenly referred to as the Merlion symbol. Please refer to the image of the Merlion here.
- If I would like to use the Merlion Symbol, whom should I write to for permission?
The Merlion Symbol is managed by the Singapore Tourism Board. To obtain approval for the use of the Merlion Symbol, please submit your request at STB website by clicking here. Alternatively, you may contact Ms Jo Chan by emailing her at Jo_Chan@stb.gov.sg.
- If I would like to use the words "Made in Singapore" on my product packaging, whom should I write in for permission?
With regards to use of the phrase "Made in Singapore", please refer to Minstry of Trade and Industry.